Last week I was visiting Orlando on Spring Break and wanted to see Harry Potter. First, it is not in Universal Studios and after waiting a half hour in line someone was nice to tell me I was at the wrong park.
I went to the other park next door, a short walk of ten minutes and waited another forty-five minutes in line. When I arrived at the ticket window, the nice lady offered me a regular ticket for $132.06 for one day.
I was shocked. I explained I was only visiting to see Harry Potter and I had read online it was $88. She showed me on her electronic display the park pass pricing (they do NOT include tax, but she had been nice to include it when she offered me the ticket).
Then she said "oh, we do have one park per day pricing" and pressed something which made a different display appear that showed lower prices for the 2, 3, 4 and I think 5 day tickets for one park per day.
I immediately looked for the one park, one day ticket. No change! I asked about why is it the same price for one park or two in one day?
She said because a one day ticket includes both parks or I would not be able to visit everything they have to offer in one day.
Well I can understand that, I guess. Except I only want to see Harry Potter and that is only in Islands of Adventure, right?
The nice lady said "yes, that is in this park". I then asked where was the $88 ticket mentioned online?
She said "it is only sold online". I asked can I order it on my phone and then pick it up without waiting in line again?
She said "No because it will take several hours to process the order, you could come back tomorrow for your online purchased tickets".
I am now getting frustrated. I ask what is the price for the $88 ticket at the sales counter for one park for admission today?
Now she says "well we have one we don't list on the electronic sales mats" (and it also is not listed on the larger displays you watch at the sales counters while waiting in line to buy tickets either).
She goes on "that ticket is $94.79". I ask "plus tax?" and she says "No. $89 before tax".
Ok, one dollar more than online. But they have these big fancy displays and smaller displays and no place on them does it list this option, not even on the one park per day listing she previously showed me.
I asked her where was it listed on the display and her answer was, "It isn't".
Well I ask, is that deceptive? If I had not read there was one, I would have paid $132.06, spent way less time waiting for my ticket and have a two park ticket when I only needed one for Harry Potter.
But it gets only worse. Now she offers me express pass options on her electronic device for Islands of Adventure. I ask do they include admission? No sir, that is plus admission was the reply.
So to avoid 2+ hour waits on the lines, I have to pay double?
"Yes sir, that is correct and it is spring break and we are busy".
Ok, I think maybe that will help. Now she presses another button and it comes back and says that it can not be used on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey"!
But that was the only reason I was visiting, was to go to Harry Potter and the express is not even valid there.
Ok, I say "no, because it is not valid in Harry Potter". She explains it is only one attraction of four that does not have it. But it appears that is the main attraction and I continue to decline the offer.
I am now expecting to pay for my ticket and she now offers the Ride Reservation service for half the price of the express pass. She explains it. I asked, "Does that include Harry Potter?", she says "no, it is the same as an express pass except you reserve your place in the express line."
I say "no thank you" and as I get out my discover card to pay for it, she now asks "would you like a lanyard for your ticket, they are only $5 or $8.47 each?"
I ask "do I have to show my ticket on each ride?" and she says "no, only when you enter the park". I decline the lanyard.
I think now I am finally getting my ticket! Not so fast... Now she is offering me the meal deal for $21.95 plus tax for all you can eat in the park. More questions later I find there are only 3 or 4 places it can be used and only in Islands of Adventure, and the Three Broomsticks restaurant I planned to eat at was not on the list.
Well if you have got this far can you imagine how long I spent after waiting in line? No wonder it takes hours to buy a ticket to the park. You have to listen to each sales offer and if you only want a one park one day ticket, good luck! You will not find anything showing it even exists unless you specifically ask for it.
I finally paid $94.79 and went into the park. The nice lady did mention her name as I was leaving but I will leave that out as I am sure she is required to offer everything and was only doing her job.